I’m not a fan people who like to pretend they are good photographers when they’re simply using a smartphone camera. If you do not know how to adjust cameras manually, then you cannot really call yourself a good photographer. In the same manner, camera phones do not make you a professional no matter how good you are in adding effects.
BUT I am not saying you should avoid camera phones at all costs. I do carry my phone anywhere I go, and I do have hundreds of pictures taken using the attached camera. It is just convenient, and the quality is decent. I also have several tips and tricks up my sleeves, so you will feel more comfortable and more satisfied with the shot results. Here are some of them:
Consider the camera feature before you buy the phone.
Again, if you are one of those who are buying a phone because of the camera, then you might as well know the features you are looking for. You want those with higher megapixels so the images appear clearer and crisper, especially once you transfer them from the phone to your PC or laptop, as well as upload them online. You also need a phone that is good in several lighting conditions, with reliable ISO settings. This way, you will not have a lot of issues shooting in night mode. Online you can already find dozens of online reviews for the various camera phones. Use them to help you evaluate the quality of the camera phone.
Find the light.
The light will be your best friend when you are shooting using your camera phone. This is because, unlike the traditional point and shoot or DSLR, you cannot control the lighting conditions, shutter speed, and other settings in a camera phone. That is why if you can, take the photos of your subjects in broad daylight. Otherwise, make sure that the Flash is working or that the camera phone has excellent ISO settings. You can also tell your subject to stand in an area where the natural light is abundant.
Stay close to the subject.
I have already told you the very limited range of the camera phone. Even if it has high megapixel, it still cannot give you great-quality shots if you are several feet away from the subject (unless it’s incredibly huge). Therefore, if you want to capture the details of the subject, you need to position yourself a lot closer.
Take as many photos as you can.
If there’s one thing really great about camera phones, it’s that you don’t have to worry about wearing out the shutter. You can take as many photos as you like, and I definitely advise you to do that, especially if you truly want to capture the best of the subject. You can just choose among the bunch and delete those that you consider mediocre.
Look at the photos at a different perspective.
Just because the quality of the photos look very well on the phone doesn’t have to mean they will be awesome once they are already uploaded or transferred to your PC or laptop. I should know as that’s what my phone does. Sometimes the images appear very clean on the phone, and yet when I see them on the computer, they can be grainy or ill textured. By looking at the photos at a different perspective, you can have a deeper understanding about how the camera of your phone works.
Don’t be afraid to use apps.
Although the camera phone doesn’t have the usual controls you will see if you use a DSLR or a point and shoot, there are already a number of apps that can help you in that area. For example, if you need better exposure or focus, you can make use of Pro Camera 7. Most of the apps in the market are meant to add filters or effects on your photos in an instant. A perfect example for that will be Instagram, which has a variety of filters to choose from, including those that can make your pictures feel “old.” A lot of the best apps aren’t free, but they won’t cost you much either. Moreover, most of them give free updates, which means you pay them only once. Just remember two things, however. One, some apps are dedicated to either iOS or Android, and they can also be very specific on the operating system used by your phone. This explains why some apps can work in the latest versions of the iPhone only. Second, I may sound like a broken record, but again, the quality of the photos will never be comparable to that of DSLR or even a point and shoot. But if you want something that’s passable, you can use your camera phone with these apps.
Create an imaginary grid.
Every budding photographer should learn about the rule of thirds. It basically states that when someone views a photo, his eyes are not immediately drawn into the center but actually on the areas that are found within the intersection points. But how do you have these points? You create an imaginary grid in the LCD display or viewfinder of the camera. The grid is composed of two vertical and horizontal lines, which then give you 9 small squares and four intersecting points. The best parts of the subject should then cross these intersecting points to create a more balanced photo.
Learn to break some rules.
We all have our own objectives in photography. Almost always, my goal is to let the subject shine—to capture him or her in the purest form. Hence, I am not afraid to break some rules including the rule of thirds of it allows me to achieve my goal. It should be the same thing when you’re using a camera phone to take pictures. In fact, some of the best pictures I’ve seen don’t follow technical logic, but they’re incredibly mesmerizing and so real as they’re captured in the right moment.